Commission votes against Lidar cameras - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Commission votes against Lidar cameras

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Caroline Johnson thought it was a done deal, but public outcry led Hamilton County Commissioners to hit the breaks on extending the city's defensive driving program to county residents.

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond proposed using deputy-manned laser technology to tag speeders.  A ticket would then be sent through the mail.  While the technology is different,
the city has been using cameras to dole out tickets since 2009. 

Those tickets have funded driver education courses for 18-hundred city residents between the ages of 15 and 22.  The 30-hour course costs county residents 419 dollars, but because of the ticket program, city residents pay just 50 dollars.

Half of each fine helps fund the program. The other half pays for the service.

The county's plan called for just one quarter of the proceeds to pay for classes.  Commissioners and their constituents say that's not feasible.  Johnson is hoping a second proposal is in the works to please everyone.

Johnson says the city has seen a spike in teen driver safety, and a drop in fatal crashes in places like the s-curves where drivers are aware they are being watched.

Sheriff Jim Hammond has not said if he will rework his proposal for a county program.

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